The movement in Syria started when people called for long‑promised reforms.
The ferocity of the violent repression that followed drove them to despair.
The uprising was triggered by schoolchildren writing revolutionary slogans on a wall in the southern city of Deraa.
The children were arrested and severely beaten.
A demonstration against this outrage was immediately met with gunfire.
Then started the cycle of deaths, funerals and protests that has come to characterise the uprising.
Now, amid the flurry of bullets, Syrian officials have denounced those they are killing—accusing them of being part of a conspiracy involving, in turn, “Western plots”, “Israel” and “Al Qaeda”.
But the regime is responsible for creating this despair—and for feeding the desperate calls for intervention from some ordinary Syrians.